Day 1: September 15th

Overview Day 2

Day 2: September 16th

Overview Day 1

The Impact of Social Models

Luke Wroblewski

Presenter: Luke Wroblewski

As Richard Farson’s truism “no one smokes in church no matter how addicted” points out, context informs almost everything that happens in an environment. Online social experiences are no exception.

How a product’s social model is set up can impact not only who contributes, but how much, and why. From permission-based subscriptions to one-click follows, Luke will discuss the attributes and implications of several popular social models by looking at data and behavior in the Web’s most popular social applications.


Bare Naked Design: Reflections on Designing with an Open Source Community

Leisa Reichelt

Presenter: Leisa Reichelt

For the past 12 months I have been working, with Mark Boulton on a series of projects with the Drupal community - firstly to redesign, and then following the success of that project, to work with the Drupal community to try to address some significant user experience issues in the interface of Drupal itself.

It seemed to us at the outset that the only way to successfully have our work accepted and implemented was to work openly and collaboratively with the Drupal community on this project - and so began the most terrifying and also the most rewarding projects I've been involved with to date.

As the projects evolved, the true nature of the challenge we had taken on revealed itself and we became embroiled not only in trying to understand the best way to design within the Drupal community, but in asking some fundamental questions about the nature of design in open source and whether it was possible for good design practice to flourish in these communities.

I'll be sharing with you some war wounds and learnings from our work with the Drupal community as well as some questions and challenges for both designers and open source communities, as we examine what it is like to design openly with communities and whether good design can ever flourish in a meritocracy like the Drupal community.


Making Virtual Worlds: Games and the Human for a Digital Age

Thomas Malaby

Presenter: Thomas Malaby

The rise of virtual worlds (World of Warcraft, Everquest) has prompted new questions about the status of games in a digital age. Thomas Malaby’s research at Linden Lab, makers of Second Life, suggests that game design and game development practice are becoming a key part of how some high tech companies operate. Instead of relying on top-down and procedural decision-making, these organizations contrive complex and game-like systems that promise to generate legitimate decisions from the ground up

But there are ideological commitments behind these efforts, with their roots in post-WWII American ideas about technology, authority, and they include even a rather peculiar notion of what being human is all about. In this transformation of the workplace - and our online experience - the human is imagined as a gamer of a particular kind. Malaby considers what this way of thinking about the human, one that saturates many of the institutions currently architecting digital society, tells us about the changing status of technology, creativity, and authority for a digital age.


Social Spaces Online: Lessons from Radical Architects

Christina Wodtke

Presenter: Christina Wodtke

While Information Architecture took its name from architecture, it took very little else. This is not surprising, as the early days of the web were about making sites that supported the interaction between people and data. The obvious model back then was a library; a library is a space for humans to receive knowledge. But with the rise of social networks, and the integration of community into almost all online experiences, more architecture practices are directly transferable to design. Online spaces are no longer just about findability, but about falling in love, getting your work done, goofing around, reconnecting with old friends, staving off loneliness... humans doing human things.

As an early Information Architect who had been working in the search field, I found very little but entertainment from phenomenology's Gaston Bachelard or innovator Frank Gehry. But once I began working on social spaces, it all changed. We all know Christopher Alexander from his pattern-language approach to codifying design solutions, but if you go beyond the mere structure you find that in those patterns lies the answers to tricky privacy issues and the cold-start problem. Architects of buildings can help us form a new approach to the architecture of human spaces online. Poetics will go down easy with plenty of real world examples from current websites, shanty villages, air apps and cityscapes.


The Information Superhighway: Urban Renewal or Neighborhood Destruction?

Mary Newsom

Presenter: Mary Newsom

As a long-time practitioner of daily newspaper journalism who sees the economic model of the newspaper industry sinking (and broadcast journalism isn’t in much better shape), I’m interested in what will happen to cities if/when the mass media splinter.

How do residents of a specific city maintain a shared sense of identity? How are civic history and traditions shared if there's no one to transmit them to large numbers of people? What replaces a daily newspaper as the dominant means of information dispersal? Or is one needed?

An overwhelming percentage of what we read online, see on network television and read in national magazines originates with daily newspaper journalists. They’re the ones who do the old-fashioned—but still important work of attending meetings, poring over documents, asking questions, interviewing people, sifting fact from rumor, verifying reports, avoiding libel, etc. From all those facts, they are responsible for creating coherent prose.

Further, with all of the “new media” journalism: the emerging trends of crowd-sourcing, blogging, YouTube, Twitter and the general explosion of information available to people, this makes virtually anyone, a potential journalist. What are the implications for information, and for the dependability of that information?


Does Designing a Social Experience Affect How We Party? Of Course It Does!

Maya Kalman

Presenter: Maya Kalman

What makes an event whether social or corporate a true success? What makes you want to go to a party or networking event? And what makes you want to stay!

We’ve all been to networking events that were nothing to write home about or weddings, to be quite frank, that were a complete disaster, but what made it that way and what could have made it better?

That premise, of what should or could have been done to make that event a success is the core of the concept behind “Social Experience Design” and what we’ll be discussing in this session. Maya will explore what goes into planning the perfect event. How do we approach the task at hand? How do we insure success? What has changed in the last year and what are next year’s trends? And how have events and the art of event design changed now that “social networking” is part of almost everyone’s daily life.


User Experience as a Crucial Driver of Social Business Design

Jeff Dachis

Presenter: Jeff Dachis

Information coming soon!


The Dawn of Perfect Products

Tim Queenan

Presenter: Tim Queenan

here is a potential upside in social media besides encouraging more dynamic communications and facilitating human networks: the end of bad products. Sure, “bad” is subjective but so is why we buy or don’t buy certain products. Could one of the effects of social media be that we see fewer and fewer inferior products existing in market? Tim will explore what happens when a commodity driven market is regulated by the “crowd” and what types of products and experience start to emerge.


Social Design Patterns Mini-Workshop

Christian Crumlish Erin Malone

Presenters: Christian Crumlish & Erin Malone

In the first half of the session, Erin and Christian will present a family of social web design principles and interaction patterns to help user experience designers and strategists grapple with the social dimensions of their products and services. The family of patterns, principles, and practices provides a framework and starting point for the conceptual modeling of any interactive digital social experience.

We've observed and codified 96 patterns thus far, capturing user-experience best practices and emerging social web customs for practitioners. We won't present each pattern in detail, of course, but we will introduce the conceptual clusters of patterns, delve deeply into some of the most interesting patterns, and share fundamental principles and deceptively appealing anti-patterns in context through discussion of illustrative scenarios.

In the second half of the session, we will invite the audience to learn about designing social interfaces through an interactive, collaborative, and competitive game. Teams will use the interaction patterns, principles, anti-patterns, and a few lucky cards to design a social experience and deliver the best product before time runs out. Team members will collaborate together, but will have to watch out for competing teams who may sabotage their efforts. The game is designed so that practitioners can gain familiarity with the patterns, behaviors, needs, contexts, and other forces at work in social product design through a fun, collaborative experience.


Innovation Parkour

Matthew Milan

Presenter: Matthew Milan

We’re all tired of the hype around innovation. Everyone claims to be doing it, but more often than not the results are underwhelming. Most of us aren’t on specialized teams and we can’t innovate in isolation from the chaos of our daily work. We don’t have special places to innovate, and quite simply, we never have the time. Innovation seems like a luxury that no one can afford.

It’s time to challenge some of the current myths of innovation: that it is always expensive, time consuming, and requires deep specialization and skills. More importantly, we need to show that innovation is something that anyone can do, as long as they’re willing to practice.

Innovation Parkour is a program to train individuals and teams to develop a prepared mind for innovation. Co-developed by Normative and Torch Partnership, it’s been called ‘social software’ that encourages participants to get into the habit of innovation. Matthew will talk about his work with Michael Dila developing the Innovation Parkour framework, how they’re developing practical approaches for training people to become better innovators, and discuss how the pursuit of creating a prepared mind can lead to innovation mastery.


If You Build It (Using Social Media), They Will Come

Mari Luangrath

Presenter: Mari Luangrath

Mari Luangrath is currently starting up her third entrepreneurial venture, Foiled Cupcakes. Without a traditional "cupcakery" storefront but choosing instead to focus on online order and personal delivery, Mari has gone completely non-traditional: she's used Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to build relationships with Chicago's most active and vocal influencers and more than double sales targets in month 1 and 2. As a result, 90 percent of the word-of-mouth business she's received since May 2009 can be tied directly to social media.

While social media is constantly evolving from one medium to the next, it’s absolutely one of the most immediate ways to interact with potential consumers, influencers and connectors in your target market. Of course, there's no one "right way" to do things in this dynamic environment. So Mari will share insightful information regarding the real-time challenges she has personally faced to stay present in the lives of potential consumers amid all of the fluidity. She'll also discuss her targeted marketing action plan (what worked, what flopped, and how she's used roadblocks to her advantage); suggest ways to identify which social media applications will work best for the results you desire; how to develop a plan to connect with targeted consumers; and ways to continue that relationship to provide consumers with an enhanced experience, leading to conversion and sales.


The Art and Science of Seductive Interactions

Stephen Anderson

Presenter: Stephen Anderson

Remember that “percentage complete” feature that LinkedIn implemented a few years ago, and how quickly this accelerated people filling out their profiles? It wasn’t a clever interface, IA, or technical prowess that made this a successful feature—it was basic human psychology. To be good UX professionals we need to crack open some psych 101 textbooks, learn what motivates people, and then bake these ideas into our designs.

We’ve spent the last decade perfecting how to create applications that serve our users needs. Now it’s time to create applications that are engaging. It’s time learn a bit about the art and science of seductive interactions.

We’ll look at specific examples of sites who’ve designed serendipity, arousal, rewards and other seductive elements into their application, especially during the post signup process when it is so easy to lose people. Examples will mostly include consumer applications such as iLike or Dopplr, where engaging with users through a process of playful discovery is vital to continued use; however, we’ll also look at how these same ideas might work in corporate environment, with a glimpse into a few corporate apps that have succeeded at being playful. Regardless of your current project, the principles behind these examples (from disciplines like social sciences, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science) can be applied universally. Best of all, attendees will receive a special gift that makes it easy to bridge theory with tomorrow’s deadline.